Screenings, Tuesday 24 September 2019

An evening of artist films, performance to camera and archival documentation by artists thinking through ritual, performance and queer futurity. The evening featured works by Jon John, Martin O’Brien and Sheree Rose, and Nwando Ebizie.

Nwando Ebizie

Nwando Ebizie is a multidisciplinary artist and curator whose work converges around immersive installation, performance art personas, experimental theatre, neuroscience, music and African diasporic ritual. Carving out her own particular strand of Afrofuturism, she combines research into the neuroscience of perception (inspired by her own neurodiversity) and an obsession with science fiction with a ritualistic live art practice.

Martin O’Brien and Sheree Rose

Martin O’Brien’s work draws upon his experience of suffering from cystic fibrosis. His performance and video art is concerned with physical endurance, disgust long durations and pain base practices in order to address a politics of the sick, queer body and examine what it means to be born with a life-threatening disease, politically and philosophically.

Sheree Rose is an American photographer and performance artist. Her photographs documented the BDSM and queer subcultures in Los Angeles during the early 1980s. With her partner and creative collaborator, performance artist Bob Flanagan, they explored sexuality, BDSM, death, and daily living with terminal illness.

Jon John

In his performances, Jon John (1983 - 2017) incorporated references to high fashion, pop music, so-called ‘modern primitivism’ and industrial culture, magic, sadomasochism, and sex. Including uniquely sentimental uses of bloodletting, hook suspensions, dancing on thorns, and DIY surgery, Jon John’s own tattooed, scarred and ‘hacked’ body was central to his work as an artist.

A conversation with Martin O’Brien and Nwando Ebizie followed the screening, chaired by Joseph Morgan Schofield. 


performances, Thursday 26 September 2019

An evening of performances by Charlie Ashwell, Sandra Stanionyte and Kelvin Atmadibrata.

Spectral formations + gatherings/convenings

commissioned response by Sara Sassanelli

Recently I have been interested in the repurposing of objects + sound. Mainly by listening to ASMR, but also through electronic music. The repurposing of half-recognisable samples as a cartographic or architectural exercise. Music that allows me to delve into the spectrality of its sound - struggling through the possibility of constantly evolving layers. Sound that holds subterranean memory.

Charlie Ashwell’s provocation with spells is a direct one. How can poetry - or spells - or ritual practices - be harnessed as technology to propel beyond capitalist desires? The rules are clear: cards delineate the space, a circle; audience sits outside; performers inside. The cards are signifiers that trigger previously arranged poems, spells and political desires. There’s a stack of cards that identically match the circle and Charlie and Es take it in turns to draw a card each. Once the card has been drawn they read out the the triggered poem/spell/political desire and then choose a time frame to dance within. The process becomes alchemy, a manifestation of the poetics of movement, the collapse of time and the inability to harness a stable vision of the future. It’s in this slippage, or instability that I think I am witnessing something clearly. A temporal disjunction where poetic assertion, spell casting and repurposing of sound, movement and divination create a space-time continuum of queer desire. Every round of selection, reading and action becomes a different splintering insight into generative possibility. I get embarrassed in the moment, by my own desire to feel moved by the actions, but then I am moved. Or shifted away from the energy I came in with.

Spectrality became recurring - through spectral architectures and ghost-figures. A solid block of flour looks like transmutation. It becomes concrete, or a flat rock formation, or wooden plank. It creates affect that dissolves and reforms as I watch. Sandra Stanionyte’s intention fills the room, but sometimes breaks as flour dissolves and moves. The body then breaks the architecture. Sandra falls into the solid block, which disintegrates in a way that I can only describe as lowkey. Not soft or subtle, but self-aware and unbothered by the dust it creates in room. Pinning dress to shoulders, the gap between the body and the dress becomes a precarious architecture. A dress is placed on a hanger which is wedged between one of the windows of the room. My desire was to focus on its measurements, the micro relationship between the edges of the hanger and the wall become the most interesting thing, shattered by the weight of the hanger.

Spectral appearances of memories that are not mine appear in Kelvin Atmadibrata’s work. The ghost of a weight, that is actually replaced by an empty white object. The absence of sound, which I think is only due to my attention being so focused on the rings holding the spectral weight. I think I missed the sound, and am now imagining a low drone, that intensifies as I watch. I’m imagining the different possible transmutations of the objects. Weight, metal loops, concrete floor, a different kind of alchemy to the first one occurs. A symbolic alchemy where each object or state of being relies on the next in order to create a whole, or a half-whole (a momentary whole). As everything dissolved, I am reminded of the work required in filling in the gaps + the pleasure of gaps in the first place.

Charlie Ashwell with Es Morgan, spells, Kunstraum, 2019. Photo by Jemima Yong.

Charlie Ashwell is a dance artist working with choreography, writing and dramaturgy. 

Charlie’s practice explores the tensions, ironies and possibilities of witchcraft, bringing it into contact with experimental dancing and feminist politics. Recent solo Banishing Dance was performed at Space Studios, Hackney, as part of FUTURERITUAL, and Wellcome Collection as part of SPLAYED Festival, in partnership with The Place. spells is a new research project in collaboration with queer dance and performance artist Es Morgan, building on their mutual interest in tarot reading, spell-casting, poetry and choreographic scores.

spells is an experiment in the technical potential of dance and language to produce alternative orientations to the world.

A choreographic research project in collaboration with Es Morgan, drawing together ideas around witchcraft, transformation, radical politics and choreographic scores.

Sandra Stanionyte, Between a Memory and a Memorial, Kunstraum, 2019. Photo by Jemima Yong.

Sandra Stanionyte is an interdisciplinary artist working in the field of performance art and architecture.

"I look at my work as a triangulation between memory, architecture, and the body as a site. I’m interested in the ways in which a study of space (architecture) is equivalent to a study of body in space.

And how a body, my body, can become a site to express personal memories and psychological states as a conceptual architecture which is both internal and external. Whilst physical architecture itself is transformed into a metaphor for both material and immaterial spaces. In other words: my body becomes a house leaking memories, a site for a research and a tool for action."

Kelvin Atmadibrata, til they are caught  in the trap, Kunstraum, 2019. Photo by Jemima Yong.

Kelvin Atmadibrata recruits superpowers awakened by puberty and adolescent fantasy.

Equipped by shōnen characters, kōhai hierarchy and macho ero-kawaii, he often personifies power and strength into partially canon and fan fiction antiheroes to contest the masculine and erotica in Southeast Asia.

He works primarily with performances, often accompanied by and translated into drawings, mixed media collages and objects compiled as installations. Approached as bricolages, Kelvin translates narratives and recreates personifications based on RPGs (Role-playing video games) theories and pop mythologies.

til they are caught in the trap is a plea for aid from self-inflicted enslavement and abuse.


performances, Saturday 28 September 2019

An day of performances by Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu, Radage & Hardaker, Augusto Cascales, and Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley.

We are working on making text and audio versions of Phoebe’s works available.

Leman Sevda Daricioğlu produces mostly in the field of performance art but also in other disciplines like installation, video, photography etc.  

They see the process of making art as a performative research on the self. They use the work as a tool to transform their limits and their subjectivity and also to create new corporal concepts to think, to imagine, to dream, to act, to be and to become.
 Response by Phoebe Patey-Ferguson.

Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu, surrounded by water, Kunstraum, 2019. 
Photos by Julia Sterre.

Radage & Hardaker, Kunstraum, 2019. Photos by Julia Sterre.

Radage & Hardaker is the close collaboration of Alicia Radage and Ro Hardaker.

"Our work focuses on the body in a state of flux. We are concerned with gender and sexuality, care and violence. We are concerned with how the body interacts with other bodies and other materials and dismantling the hierarchy built into body politics and materialism, how it contaminates, is contaminated, dilutes, is diluted, concentrates, is concentrated. We make work with our bodies as the starting point."

Response by Phoebe Patey-Ferguson.

Augusto Cascales is a Brazilian artist based in London, working across different mediums at the intersection of spontaneity and criticality.

Using queer feminist and post-colonial positions, their (soma)tic ritualistic practice explores deviant forms of knowledge production and distribution.

Lucifer in My Belly is a somatic ritual weaving togther sigil magic, queer club culture and the mating call of fireflies.

Response by Phoebe Patey-Ferguson.

Augusto Cascales, Luciferin in My Belly , Kunstraum, 2019. Photos by Julia Sterre.

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, You Are Being Let Into A Space, Kunstraum, 2019. Photos by Julia Sterre.

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley is an artist living and working in London.



Response by Phoebe Patey-Ferguson.

Future Ritual: Land, Art, Faith, Performance CIC

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